Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Easter Early!

It's been much too quiet here in blogland-everyone has been too busy to write and for me, there hasn't been much going on. Until last week that is...I found out that I had been approved for an early retirement due to disability and retired officially last week. It had been a tough decision to make. My oncologist had suggested I should apply in January. Although things have been going well, as she put it."there is a good possibility that we'll be walking down this road of recurrence again." Given the side effects I endured this summer and the continued treatment and blood clot, I decided I needed to follow her advice. It took 3 months, but I finally got the official ok (along with the medical documentation of 287 pages!) When I received the verdict I had mixed emotions. When you're working probably once a day (if not more!) you think I can't wait to retire-then when it happens-it's difficult. I resent the way it has happened--this cancer has had too much power in my life. But, I am going to look forward-this is just the start of the next part of my journey.
The other exciting news is that to help me start my next chapter, my best friend, Betsy, and her husband, Sted Seavey, have invited us to join them on their annual trip to Aruba! They have been going there for over 20 years now and this will be our second trip. We joined them in 2006 to celebrate the end of my first round of treatments and now we'll have something else to celebrate. They'll be staying 3 weeks, but we'll join them for one. We leave Easter Sunday and return the following Sunday. It's the perfect vacation--good friends, SUN (!!!) and a pile of books to read on the beach--after all this chemo, I'm ready for a little vitamin D therapy! Maybe I'll write an entry from the beach! If not, I'll be sure to include some pictures when we return.
Last week I also completed my second month on the drug trial I'm participating in. It's a double blind study of a new drug for ovarian cancer. So far so good--as part of the study I will have bimonthly Ca125 tests and CAT scans. My first were last week. My Ca125 was 7.2 (below 35 is considered "normal" yipee!) and my CT scan showed NO changes and was totally normal-with the exception of evidence that the blood clot in my lung is still there (the Dr. expected this). So it's all good! The only side effect I am experiencing is that I have totally lost of my sense of taste. It's really annoying and bizarre--everything I eat taste like a matzo cracker-you'd think I'd be skinny-but no such luck--I keep trying things to see if they taste! The doctors think this is probably an indication that I am receiving the drug-not the placebo since there haven't been any other changes in my treatment or medications-we'll have to wait and see-but if it works, I'll go without taste!
Because we aren't going to be here on Easter, yesterday we had an early Easter dinner at our house. Mom, Cheryl and Hank, and Andi and Dave joined us-Joanne and Mark had just returned from the Southwest on Saturday night, and Kit and Erin were in Aroostock county visiting Erin's grandmothers. Everyone is well and we all had a great time and a lot to eat! Maybe Cheryl will add some pictures--she took my camera home with her by mistake, so I can't. It was great for all of us to be together.
Well, that's all that's new in my world--hope everything is going well for all of you--think Spring! There are little green sprouts all over the front yard-daffodils and tulips! Maybe when we get home the flowers will be in full bloom! Take care! Nancy


  1. From Sheila Dennis-Renaas in Minnesota:
    (formerly worked with Kristen)

    It sounds like you made a great desicion in retirement! Enjoy life while you never know what the future brings for any of us. Have fun in Arbua too.

    Always, Sheila

  2. From Sue Snelling:
    Hi Nancy,

    I'm glad to hear things seem to be going so well for you. Aruba sounds like paradise. I've heard it's so nice there. I'll stay here for you and watch the snow melt!!!!! Have a great time and keep in touch!

    P.S. Can you still taste the smokes??????

  3. Just a quick hello from a random blogger who is here visiting, I wish you a pleasant trip to Aruba, and lots of great adventures. Enjoy those toes in the sand! My prayers are with you as you embark on your journey.
    From "Mrs. Slug" in Oregon

  4. Just posted a photo of Nancy taken before dinner yesterday...doesn't she look GREAT...already tan and 45 pound lighter thanks to the "cancer diet" (hellish but highly effective:-) Nancy...thanks for a wonderful time deserve every minute of beach-time you can get in Aruba after the recurrence cancelled your summer last year..
    Love you!

  5. hi nancy, thanks for updates, sounds great to have those days of comfort & fun! enjoy the island trip. what good friends you have! i know you will keep busy in retirement happy easter also early. will keep in touch. great picture of you. luv, aunt marion

  6. Nancy, have a great trip to Aruba...take a jeep tour of the desert....its beautiful! Enjoy your retirement. Can't wait to see you all at Brian's reunion. Even Dad has held the dates.

  7. Hello to all.

    Mark and I are late in responding as we are just returning from Arizona. We started visiting the area when Andi was living out there. Mark and I have been loving it ever since.
    Brought some friends with us but cancelled the Mexico part of the trip unfortunately due to the current conditions. Visited Sedona instead.
    Had a fun dinner at our villa the Boulders in Carefree with Kevin, Kym and their beautiful baby James. Also Katy and Kelly and her boyfriend Dave joined us.
    Nancy and Aaron - I am so glad you are going on a well deserved vacation! It's exactly what you need. I am thrilled and await the details. Enjoy every moment...

    Love, Joanne